Guest post by Debbie Anderson.
Sure you can go to a mall or shop online for the latest styles, but what if you want the not-so-latest styles? We're talking about vintage. And contrary to what you may think, thrifting is not déclassé in fact many innovative and stylish men with limited budgets thrift. It's true. Plus, many thrift stores sell quality, gently used clothes that can be had for pennies on the dollar. So if you want to mix your wardrobe up a bit and find unique vintage pieces to pop your style, check out your local thrift store. Here's some tips for successful thrifting:
Learn the “deal days.” Nearly every thrift store runs specials each day of the week. Call the thrift store for the daily special and get an idea of which deal runs on each day. Sometimes the deals are “50% off everything in the store,” and sometimes it's “Buy one, get one,” but they'll always save you even more money then you already do by thrifting.
Find out when the thrift store stocks new donations. Many thrift stores pick one or two days during the week to stock new inventory. These are good days to visit your favorite stores early to see the “new” stuff before it's picked over by other customers.
Do a quick scan of each area first. Some areas are better stocked than others. Survey the racks to check for new clothes with tags, or special vintage pieces, then browse deeper if the selection looks especially good that day. After awhile, you develop a knack for quickly identifying quality fabrics and brands. You always want to go for the top quality materials.
Look by the dressing rooms for discarded items. You might find a jacket in just your size or a Ralph Lauren tie that didn't work with the previous occupant's outfit. Dressing room areas are great places to check for the culled through items someone else put the time into finding.
Know that location makes a difference. For instance, thrift stores in upper-middle-class or wealthy neighborhoods probably yield better finds. Stores within the confines of “older” neighborhoods may uncover more vintage pieces. Visit many stores and get to know which ones carry the better clothes.
Try everything on that interests you. You never know if something that looks so-so on the rack will look amazing on you. Give everything a chance that's in your personal mental “look book” to see how it fits.
Thrifting isn't for everyone, but if you're patient and learn the tricks of the trade, you'll end up with some stylish pieces that set you apart from the crowd and won't kill your wallet.